Poet: Sylvia Plath

Edge by Sylvia Plath

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According to the description at Vimeo, this videopoem was the opening clip to a 2003 film by New Zealand director Christine Jeffs called Sylvia. Lina Gaitán supplied both the reading in English and the Spanish translation for the subtitles. The introductory text in Spanish points out that this was Plath’s last poem, written four days before her suicide (though other sources claim it was written six days earlier, on the same day as another poem, “Balloons”).

The Applicant by Sylvia Plath

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A four-year-old video montage by Josep Porcar, using Plath’s own reading, with subtitles in Catalan by Montserrat Abelló.

Mirror by Sylvia Plath

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A brilliant text animation of Plath’s 1961 poem with images from vintage print advertisements. It’s the work of the New Zealand-based designer Kylie May, née Kylie Hibbert — the name under which she made this film and another in 2005, part of a “postgraduate study exploring the visual language of poetry” she called the Belles Lettres project.

By transforming the written words of poetry into choreographed kinetic performance the project seeks to expand typographical conventions of traditional published poetry. The research project utilises the poetry of Emily Dickinson’s (1862) I died for beauty and Sylvia Plath’s (1961) Mirror, to explore the potential of paralinguistics and poetry as emotive narrative. These two poetic voices are fused by intimate revelations of anxiety, which have relevance in today’s society.

Both films were shortlisted for the 2006 Berlin ZEBRA Poetry Film Awards, Mirror attracting a finalist placing.

PLEASE NOTE: Music used under the AUT screenrights license. For academic research purposes only.

November Graveyard by Sylvia Plath

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Update: Video has been made private.

A new videopoem by Swoon titled “Red Lost Ghosts” remixes an old audio recording of Plath with other audio samples, video and stills to very good effect in what he calls

A remembrance-piece for Birkenau.
Not the blunt and awful images of the place, but the those images of horror hidden behind the automation of a wind-up-toy and the slight hope of some ‘forget-me-nots’
For the hope we will not forget that awful ‘machine’

Ariel by Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath reads her poem in another video by the enigmatic mishima1970.

Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath’s own reading of her poem in a video by mishima1970, who seems to specialize in Plath video poems.

Daddy by Sylvia Plath

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Poem and reading by Sylvia Plath — text here

Video by mishima1970

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Another video with the same poem, this time by Jim Clark, who makes

Virtual Animated movies of great poets reincarnated through the wonders of computer animation reading their best loved poems and presented in the style of old scratchy movies.

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